Friday, June 29, 2007

Fragmented Friday is also a Frilly's Friday!

  • Every once in a blue moon, Zinger's work schedule allows him to pass through Denton on his way back from Bridgeport around noon or so; on these occasions, we get together at one of my favorite restaurants in town, Frilly's. Today is such a day.

  • Not too long ago Li'l Random was talking about how his friends from high school were bugging him to start up a MySpace page; knowing that he also goes by the nickname Lazy Bum, I was pretty sure he was never going to do it on his own, so I created a profile for him; he expressed his appreciation, and I sent him the email and password I'd used so that he could change them over to his own. Of course, being a Lazy Bum*, he hasn't looked at it since I initially showed it to him. Feeling a bit bored, and needing to find a way to amuse myself to keep my mind of the soap opera that my life recently become, I decided to spruce the page up a bit. If you hurry, you might get to see it before he does.

  • Speaking of ways to keep my mind off of my soap opera style problems, I have discovered that practicing my karate techniques and kata is highly therapeutic.

  • Last night Cap'n Shack-Fu organized a Caravan of Love to help Fluffy move from Lewisville to Denton; I think poor Fluffy was torn between gratitude at the help and exasperation over the fact that HyperForce 3000 was operating at full hyperactive steam.

  • Upon hearing last night about my MySpace tinkering on Li'l Random's behalf, Cap'n Bubbles tried to lay a guilt trip on me because I had found time to make a MySpace page for Li'l Random but hadn't found time to add her to the Cast List. However, she apparently didn't consider a couple of things. First of all, I am a slave to my creative muse, and that muse lent me inspiration for a gag MySpace page before it did a substantial Cast List entry, and so that is what I did. Second of all, the surest way to make sure I don't get inspiration for something is to try to guilt trip me about it. Don't worry, you shall be added, Cap'n Bubbles; just don't know when.

  • Tomorrow morning I'll be going to a "takedown and submissions" seminar in Carollton put on by my karate class. PigPen had been planning on going as well, but is now going to be in Oklahoma for the next few days. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, if he went to it then he would be able to help me remember everything they cover, since he tends to pick up on the physical stuff faster than I do. On the other hand, there's a part of me that's relieved that he won't be there to possibly learn new ways to beat up on me. But the gripping hand is that, since this is basically grappling, he probably knows a good deal of it anyway, and all that this is going to do is reduce the amount by which I get my butt kicked when I succumb to my self-destructive urge to pick fights with him. Of course, then there's the fear that if I do improve my skills, he'll just go "Ooo, Todd is putting up more of a fight now, time to stop going easy on him!'

  • While Cap'n Shack-Fu and I were sparring in the pool on Saturday, he was taking it slow and easy, trying to talk me through different tactics. At one point he was saying something about how with my size I should be able to do some damage, to which I replied "Is that a fat joke?" Poor Shack got this shocked look on his face, and dropped his guard, at which point I lunged at him and was able to make me first successful dunking of an opponent of the day. Using psychological warfare to my advantage: probably my favorite memory of the weekend. To commemorate this, I have approximately 347 more occasions in the following week to accuse Shack-Fu of making fat jokes; it just never gets old. Well, not for me, anyway . . .

*Well, there's also the fact that he hasn't gotten Internet service at his new house yet, but I prefer the "Lazy Bum" theory


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Like Sands Through the Hourglass . . .

Hey, Redneck Diva, if you need any inspiration for your assigned genre in this round of the WitToI challenge, just drive on down to visit me for a few days: my life is a soap opera.

An horrible, infuriating, breakdown-inducing soap opera.

I play may roles in the soap opera that is my life, but the role which seems to have taken over recently is that of the peace-maker, the mediator, the "can't we all just get along?" guy. I try to squash conflict whenever I can by playing devil's advocate; trying to make sure that all involved parties know where the other parties are coming from; trying to straighten out miscommunications; trying to dig others out of the dark pit of pessimism and paranoia -- yes, basically trying to make sure that none of my friends act like my younger, uber-neurotic self, using my overly developed obsession to over-analyze situations for good instead of self-destruction.

Most of the time, I don't mind playing this role because it makes me feel good to know I might have been able to help my friends work through some tricky problems. But sometimes, when the involved parties are constantly taking umbrage at the words and actions of one another and I spend more time and energy worrying about how I'm going to keep things from exploding than I do actually sleeping . . . at those times, the role's not quite as rewarding, and I worry that my life's going to go from "soap opera" to "murder mystery." And, right now, my whole week has been one of those times.

Although, on the bright side, if that were to happen today, then I'd at least have something to write about for my assigned genre in the challenge . . .


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Long Weekend

I am exhausted.

Spent the bulk of Saturday helping Li'l Random move into his new house, and then most of the moving crew headed over to Squiggly's apartment complex to swim for a few hours, said swimming becoming much more strenuous after Cap'n Shack-Fu decided that he was going to teach me some water defense techniques -- in other words, water wrestling. After that we all headed back to my place to watch movies and stayed up visiting until around 1 in the morning. Then on Sunday got up early for church, then a group of us headed out to Lake Ray Roberts to spend the afternoon with Mr. and Mrs. Smooth Money on their recently purchased pontoon boat. Our lake adventure was cut a bit short when the boat died on us and we had to get a tow back to the loading dock, so after that we headed back to Squiggly's, invited several of the other Singles who hadn't been able to make it out to the lake, and had a little pool party, even though only three or four of us did any actual swimming. This time in the pool PigPen decided to first wear me out by inventing a water polo-ish game before then stalking towards me and saying "Let's see what all you learned from Shack-Fu last night." So then after getting my butt thoroughly kicked and my head repeatedly dunked in front of a large group of on-lookers, it wasn't long before everyone headed home. The Boys of Benjiman Street stayed up watching the tape of The Ultimate Fighter finale which led, in a roundabout way, to PigPen giving me some wrestling pointers. Then last night Squiggly and I headed down to Flower Mound to catch an extra session of our karate lessons, which was pretty cool because it was a smaller group and I wound up getting some one on one instruction in which I finally got some positive feedback and constructive criticism. However, doing the cardio, running through the techniques, and practicing my kata nonstop for over half an hour in a poorly air-conditioned room while wearing the heat-trapping gi took what little energy I had left after the rest of the weekend and sucked it right out of me.

Like I said: I'm exhausted.

But I'd do it all over again.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Highly Impressionable

This will be a short one, but I feel compelled to post something other than YouTube clips and links to writing challenges at least once this week.

Have you ever hung around with someone so much that you begin to subconsciously take on some of their speech patterns and mannerisms? I remember the first time I was really aware of this phenomenon was my sophomore year of college, after Little Man Stud asked Flunky, Wrath, G'ovich, and myself "Why do you do that?"

"Do what?" we replied.

"That thing with your hands."

Turns out, over the months that we had been hanging out together, the gestures which Flunky and Wrath used for emphasis when speaking had sort of merged together and been adopted by us as a whole; we had been totally unaware of this adoption of behavior until it was pointed out by someone outside of our circle. Once aware of it, we all strove mightily to keep from doing it anymore.

The reason this is on my mind is because I have recently noticed that certain turns of phrase have entered my speech patterns without me full volition. The one that I keyed in on is the use of the word "bud" when talking to the guys: "You doing okay, bud? Talk to you later, bud. Hey, bud, what's up?" Both PigPen and Li'l Random use it quite a bit, so it's understandable that it has started to replace my former default of addressing the guys as "sir," which itself was a byproduct of my having watched An Evening with Kevin Smith II: Evening Harder wherein Smith talks about how Jason Mewes was responsible for spreading the "sir" speech meme among all of their circle of friends. Yes, I am easily influenced; after hanging around The Cardinal only a couple of times, I had already adopted his exclamation "Oh, good night!" as my own.

I'm sure if I thought about it some more examples would pop into my head, but I'm really sleepy, and a bit drained mentally due to multiple non-bloggable events,* so I'm just going to leave this with one of my rare calls for input from the masses; any of you have any examples of such behavior? And for Squiggly, the Singles resident psychological disorder diagnostician, is allowing your behavior to be subliminally influenced by the behavior of others really normal?**

*Yes, I know people hate when I do that, but that's the most you're getting out of me on the subject
***Yup, that's right: inside joke alert.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Writting Challenge Cazzmania Is Up!

The latest batch of stories for the Write in the Thick of It challenge are up. This time around, we not only had the basic words to use, we also were randomly assigned a genre and a smattering of pop culture references. Let me tell you, trying to figure out how to work Tickle Me Elmo into a Western was fun . . .

Anyway, if you get a chance, head on over to Write in the Thick of It , read all the stories, and vote for your favorite. Voting is open until Friday.


Monday, June 18, 2007

Those Krazy Kiwis

If the only thing you've seen for the new HBO series The Flight of the Conchords is a clip like this

you might be saying to yourself "Why should I waste my time?" Well, here are a couple of good reasons to give these odd New Zealanders a chance: The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room

and The Humans are Dead*

And, if you watch those clips and still say "why should I bother?" well, then, Li'l Random, B.B., and I --who all about keeled over from laughing so hard during the premiere on Sunday -- pity your poor, humorless souls.

*Which, sadly, is lacking its "binary solo" from the closing credits: zerozerozerozerozerozero one. zerozerozerozerozerozero oneone . . .


Friday, June 15, 2007

Fragmented Friday - Slow News Day

As you may have surmised, I did manage to survive my first week of karate class. While I was not the quickest study among the four first time students (that, of course, was PigPen), neither was I the slowest study. Of course, I'm still not sure if our instructor didn't say much to me because I was doing everything correctly, or because I was doing everything less incorrectly than others.

On Wednesday night, the Cap'n Bumper sponsored softball team Last Place finally lived up to his goal for the name to be highly ironic, as they totally demolished any and all competition to take first place in their league, winning the championship game 15-0. And now, they can take a much deserved break until the next round of softball starts . . . next week.

My mood has been all over the place the last week or so, thanks to somebody's totally innocent comment reverberating with one of those deep-seated complexes which trigger my self-consciousness and self-doubt and self-loathing and self-[insert negative action here]. The worst thing about those moments is that I know the person didn't mean anything by their comment, and I know that I shouldn't let it bother me, and yet, the downward spiral defies all logic. Luckily, I have good friends who are more than willing to slap me upside the head* and drag me kicking and screaming out of my funk.

I'm actually pretty happy with my entry for the latest round of Write in the Thick of It, all things considered. I actually got my initial draft done by Friday, and when I went back for a round of revision I wound up changing very little. Now, I'm sure if I were to revisit it in a week or so I would find all sorts of clunky phrasings and shallow character moments that will set my teeth on edge and make me wonder how in the world I could submit such slop, but until then, I'm happy. Diva should have this round's entries (which include one from first time contributor Maverick) posted sometime today.

*For once, the head-slapping was not courtesy of PigPen, who was fortunate enough to be out of state or otherwise occupied through most of this round of the roller coaster ride that is my mental state.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

B.B. Tried to Warn Us: a Tale of Li'l Random McEvil

Earlier this week Cap'n Bubbles made the mistake of mentioning one of her hobbies to some of the other Singles: she likes to take some of her favorite TV shows and movies and recast them using people she knows, matching up her perception of the characters' personalities with her perceptions of the personalities of her friends. Why was mentioning this hobby a mistake? Because then everyone clamored for her to let them see a copy of the cast lists. And, when she did bring them out to the co-ed softball playoffs last night, pretty much every single person who looked at them bemoaned at least one character choice* Li'l Random in particular seemed put out by being chosen as R2D2 in the Star Wars films, complaining about being picked as the goofy robot that couldn't even right itself if it got knocked down.

After the first softball game was over, a few of us headed out to the parking lot: Li'l Random was heading home, Cap'n Shack-Fu was heading to the gym, and Cap'n Bubbles and I were heading over to the nearby Sonic for some dinner before the next game started. As we were walking out, Li'l Random was still acting a bit sulky about the R2D2 thing, and Shack-Fu decided to try and point out some of the other casting choices that he thought Li'l Random might be more appreciative of, but every single one was met with a surly comment. Glancing through the list, Li'l Random picked one and said "Here, this one I like, because I'm not in it." Shack-Fu tried to mollify him by saying that Cap'n Bubbles had written the list back when she didn't know any of us that well, and would probably redo the lists now, to which Li'l Random gruffly said "Good idea; redo them, and make sure I'm nowhere in any of them." Shack-Fu said "Oh, c'mon, Li'l Random, it'll be okay" and started to draw him into a hug, only to have Li'l Random back off and wave the hug away; the shock on Shack's face was palpable.

Now, while I've enjoyed giving Li'l Random a hard time about being evil recently, the truth of the matter is that he is typically one of the most good-natured, easy-going people I know, always smiling, always trying to keep the peace, always willing to lend a helping hand. And although I had recently heard tales of his darker side, I found it hard to believe that Cap'n Bubbles' cast list could draw it out. And yet, there he was, stone-faced and off-putting like I'd never seen before. We three Cap'ns exchanged nervous, awkward glances, each wondering "is this for real?" Finally, Li'l Random said testily "You know what, fine, just leave 'em like that, I don't care, I gotta go," and headed off to the Night Roller.

He got about six steps before he burst into uncontrollable laughter, pumping his fists in the air and crowing about how he had gotten us all. I responded in the only logical fashion: rushing him, putting him in a headlock, and thumping him on the top of his evil little skull repeatedly.

Looks like the Random McEvil nickname is going to stay put for a while.

*Personally, my least favorite of my assigned roles was being pegged as Odo on DS9.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Life with Li'l Random McEvil: A Sampling

The following is an email reply from Li'l Random regarding the Random is as Random Does blog post.

I really like Professor Random; it has such elegance that it just brings clear tears to my eyes. Anti-Cap'n Lord Nykon, the Gemini Maverick is probably the coolest nickname known to man, well at this time anyway. Awesome, fight the pressure, yeah insane, homie. I really enjoyed the Random Theme Song. Can sing it to the beat of Devo's Whip-It while drinking strawberry lemonade and at the same time running around with blue superhero outfits that have "OS" on them referring to the Odd Squodd. Actually we can call ourselves the Super Power Odd Squodd and we can drive around in cars with animal names; like I could drive the black crow and yours could be the albino lizard. Together we can form the great zebra-tor. Yeah, I like this already. My quote of the night is, "Without Random there is no hope; for that the shadow knows no randomness until departure is upon us." Yeah...I have slick shoes.

Crash and Burn

I think that says it all, don't you?

Oh, and for the record: when I was first talking to him about my nickname plans, "Professor Random" is the one nickname he suggested for himself. Of course, he claims that when he wrote the email he had forgotten that he had come up with that one himself, but if B.B. has taught us anything it's that Random McEvil is not to be trusted.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Life with The Lovable PigPen: a Snapshot

PigPen: [belligerently from the kitchen] Hey! You ate one without me!
Cap'n N.: What?
PigPen: You fixed some Hamburger Helper without me!
Cap'n N.: [puzzled] No, I didn't. [pause] Oh, but I did, however, notice that there was one less box when I got back from Oklahoma.
PigPen: [pauses] Oh, yeah, Maverick and I ate one while you gone. Oh well. [shrugs
and returns to what he was doing before needlessly accusing the Cap'n]
Cap'n N.: [shakes head, frankly surprised that PigPen didn't find a way to make his eating a box without the Cap'n somehow the Cap'n's fault]


Thursday, June 07, 2007

And He Seems Like Such a Nice Guy, Too: Random, but Nice . . .

As I mentioned the other day, B.B. spent a good portion of Sunday evening trying to convince me that his neighbor and co-worker, Captain Random, rather than being one of the nicest guys I know, is actually pure evil. Throughout the evening, B.B. delighted in taking everything The Random One said or did and twisting it into a supposed attack. After the fifth or sixth time I had to sit by and watch B.B. tear into the perpetually good natured Random Lad for some imaginary slight, I decided enough was enough -- I mean, why should B.B. get to have all the fun?

"Dang, Randomino, I'm shocked and appalled, picking on poor B.B. like that; this is a whole new side to you. And here you seem like such a good guy at church." Letting out a sound of dismay at the realization that he was now outnumbered, Randomosity Rex just shook his head in response.

"Oh, you don't know the half of it," B.B. said. "Random Killowattt always has to have some 'mirror time' before he heads to church."

"You mean to get in character?"

"Exactly!." B.B. then began his impression of the Radomaniac's 'mirror time.' He first fixed his face into a scowl, and then drew his hand down past his face, letting it relax into a neutral position, before raising the hand back up past the face, which was now sporting a goofy smile and shiny, vacant eyes. He then began to raise and lower his right arm in a jerky, marionette-like wave while chirping out in a high-pitched, child-like voice "Hi, Todd! Hi, Todd! Hi, Todd!" He then switched arms, and repeated the faux cheerful greetings. "Hi, Maverick! Hi, Maverick! Hi, Maverick!" Then, back to the right arm. "Hi, PigPen! Hi --"

B.B. suddenly stopped, let his face return to the scowl, turned his head to the side, and changed from a vacuous chirp to a violent growl. "Shut the {bleep} up, B.B.! I have to do this! I have to get in {bleep} character before I go to {bleep} church so I can scam those {bleeps}! Don't {bleep} mess with me, I'll kick your {bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep}" He then faced forward again and slipped back into mindless cheerful greetings. "Hi, PigPen! Hi, Pigpen!" Then, both arms thrown up as if to give a hug, while crying out "Squiggly! Squiggly!"

It was the "Squiggly!" that made my already out of control laughter threaten to cause me permanent injury. Meanwhile, the subject of B.B.'s performance was also laughing – possibly to cover up the tears -- while saying repeatedly "Every day I have to deal with this, man, this is my life, every day!"

Of course, this just gave B.B. an opportunity to talk about the ways Senor Aleatorio* abuses him on their way to and from work when they carpool.

Maybe I was wrong before; maybe I won't be the one to make poor Li'l Random snap . . .

*Yes, that's Spanish for "Mr. Random" -- according to an online Spanish dictionary, anyway.


Monday, June 04, 2007

Random Is as Random Does

All righty, this one may be a tad lengthy, but I'm in total stream of consciousness mode here. I blame all the time I spent hanging out with fellow Odd Squodder Li'l Dill the past few days; he's randomized my brain!

  • I mentioned recently that I want to change Li'l Dill's nickname into something that fits him better, and reserve the pickle-related nick for those rare occasions when it might seem fitting. Unfortunately, while Li'l Dill is still the Nickname Magnet, most of those nicknames are highly specialized and only brought out when appropriate. Right now, I'm leaning towards something along the lines of Professor Random or the Randomizer or something equally unoriginal utilizing some form of "random."

  • For those of you wondering, I now provide shoddy photographic evidence of my new car

    I know it doesn't have quite as much, um, "character" as The Blue Beast

    but I'm sure after a few years of my tender neglect, it will. I have yet to come up with a name for the car; my favorite suggestion so far is The Great White Hope, courtesy of The Anti-Cap'n, but somehow that doesn't feel quite right.

  • Speaking of names and The Anti-Cap'n: much like with The Great Randomini, I've long been searching for a more appropriate nick for The A.C., but have long been stymied. As long as I'm shaking things up for Pan's Randomoso, I figured I'd push forward with a new nick for my roomie. Top options are his video game handle (Lord Nykon), his MySpace handle (Gemini), his intended softball handle (Maverick), or a nice combo (Anti-Cap'n Lord Nykon, the Gemini Maverick). I am undecided.

  • Trouble called me from Colorado (where she's currently in training to be a rafting guide for the summer) the day after my surprise party to see how it all went. She asked me if the party-goers had been dressed up as super-heroes; I immediately asked "Was that Random McRandomson or Cap'n Shack-Fu's suggestion?" She confirmed my suspicion that the idea was courtesy of The Random Avenger. It's too bad that they didn't follow through on that idea, because while I might have suspected a party being thrown in my honor, walking into a room filled with caped crusaders would have caught me totally off-guard.

  • Sunday night I had dinner with One of My Favorite Random Generators in the Worldtm and his pal B.B., and if my side hadn't already been hurting after my latest grappling match with PigPen* it would have been after B.B. got done regaling me with his tales of how Random McEvil only plays the nice guy at church, when in fact he is the devil. That little piece of performance art is worthy of a blog post in and of itself, but I mention it now in passing just to comment on how cathartic the non-stop laughter was. Trust me; after the last few weeks, I needed pain-inducing laughter.

  • Only a few more days until karate classes start up; I'm hoping that my current injuries and slow-healing nature don't cause me too much of a problem. I don't know if I've really conveyed how big of a deal this is for me; for most people, it's just signing up for a karate class, but for me it's signing up for a class where at times I'm going to be basically put on display and judged for how well I'm doing in a physical activity. Voluntarily putting myself in this position is a major step for me, which is why when people react to the news by snickering, guffawing, or laughing hysterically while they ask "Can I come and watch?", well, it kind of makes me see red, as well as question the wisdom of going through with it. I know it's not meant maliciously, and I know I've brought it on myself with my many years of physical inactivity, but that doesn't make it any easier for my self-doubting and self-loathing nature to take. Regardless, I'm still planning on going through with it; time will tell how wise a decision that really is.

  • Last night Squiggly, her younger sister, Anti-Cap'n Lord Nykon the Maverick Gemini, and I went out to watch PigPen's Monday night softball team finally start their play-offs, but it was difficult to enjoy the game thanks to a swarm of the most aggressive mosquitoes I've ever seen. Squiggly came prepared with pest repellent, but unfortunately the can was practically empty and did little to deter the flying bloodsuckers. Now, I don't know if it's from getting caught in the rain before the game while talking to Captain Random at the gym, standing out in the open air where allergens could assail me, being eaten alive by what Squiggly called Africanized Attack Mosquitoes, or the accidental inhaling and ingestion of the ineffective bug spray, but something in my activities last night has left me feeling a bit sickly.

  • Despite being bruised, battered, bitten, possibly broken, and consumed with overall "blah," I'm actually in a remarkably good mood, all things considered; probably the best mood I've been in since the unfortunate tailbone-busting incident weeks ago. And I have my friends to thank for it; over the last few days I've had a chance to sit down with a few of the guys and work through some of the stuff that's been dragging me down into the dumps that past month or so. Now I've corrected some misunderstandings (on both my part and on others), been slapped upside the head for acting like a self-defeating dumbass (yeah, that was mainly courtesy of PigPen), and in general just had reaffirmed that in the grand scheme of things I am truly a lucky and blessed individual. We'll just have to see how long this positive state lasts this time around; PigPen has already said he couldn't possibly pencil in dealing with another of my neurotic breaks until at least mid-July, so I guess I'll have to hold it together at least until then.

  • How better to end this random ramblings than with our very own Captain Random's theme song**
  • Captain Random
    Odd Squodd weirdo
    His non sequitur's will
    Make your mind blow
    Randomness personified
    And his twisted mind his only guide
    Yeah, one of these days Li’l Random is going to snap, and it’s all going to be my fault; at least I know that when I do push him over the edge, my subsequent death will be committed in a terribly original and surprising way, 'cause that's how the Random Raider rolls.
*Yes, that's right, hurt myself again; think I'm going to change my name to Cap'n Injury Prone.
**Sung to this tune


Challenge With a Twist

Congratulations to Cazzie for winning the latest round of the Write in the Thick of It challenge. For the new round, Diva has decided to shake things up a bit. Basically, if you want to participate, you need to email her by Tuesday, June 5th, so that she can assign you a genre and mandatory pop culture references. As always, I urge all of you blog monkeys to participate if you can.


Friday, June 01, 2007

Fragmented Friday - Bummer Days

  • A few days after our mini-high-school reunion, Redneck Diva (who wrote her own account here) informed me that talking with me now is exactly like talking with me in high school; "It was kind of eerie at first" she said, "like I'd slipped into a time warp." Apparently my mannerisms and speech patterns have been set in stone for quite a while, not quite sure what that says about me; either I matured early, or not at all. I think we all know where the safe money goes on that bet . . .

  • Just got word that the annual library "talent and hobby showcase" will be coming up again next month. The last two years I've performed two out of the three competitive speech pieces I still have memorized, but I'm not sure if the library staff is quite ready for #3, "The October Game" by Ray Bradbury. So, if I do decide to do something I'll have to decide if I want to learn a new piece to perform; just read an example of my short stories or blogs; or just finish up the competitive speech trifecta by doing the story about the guy who chops up his daughter and passes her body parts around like party favors.

  • Along similar lines (to the library/performing thing, not chopping up body parts thing), several staff members have now expressed an interest in developing a Book Cart Drill Team to perform at the next Texas Library Association conference; since I had mentioned the Drill Team in my submission to the library newsletter about the TLA conference, and since everyone apparently knows that I have little fear of getting up and making a fool of myself in such situations, I have been persistently pursued to partake because, as one staffer said, "We need a guy." How can I pass up sweet-talk like that?

  • I've been figuring out what my budget is going to be like with the addition of car payments and and increase in car insurance; I am now officially depressed. Bye-bye eating out ever again; bye-bye crazy amount of Netflix movies checked out at once; bye-bye *choke* comic book purchases -- you will be sorely missed.

  • Had a surprise party thrown in my honor last night; unfortunately, I had grown suspicious and wasn't really all that surprised; even more unfortunately, I opened my big mouth and said so and then had to watch all the light and joy drain out of the party-planners' faces. Just call me Cap'n Ingrate.

  • I'm afraid I've been lax in promoting the latest round of the Write in the Thick of It challenge, probably largely due to the fact that I, stressed out and distracted by my personal woes, never was able to find inspiration for Tate's words, and wound up phoning it in. Voting is still open until tomorrow night, after which time Diva is proposing some rule changes for at least the next round to shake things up; I'll be very interested to see how it works out.

  • Several of the Singles are planning on going to Six Flags tomorrow; I, who procrastinated so long in getting my season pass that I can no longer justify the expense, probably wouldn't go even if I did have the money; the tailbone, it is still not healed, and somehow I don't think the massive g-force from my favorite rides would be conducive to its recovery. Very bummed.

  • When I came in to work on Wednesday, I discovered that my coworkers had taken my comment that I only really like one picture of myself -- my profile pic -- and had much fun with it for my birthday, plastering a couple of dozen copies around my monitor. The original plan had been to tape them to the action figures and miscellaneous creatures which adorn my desk, which I think would have been funny, but instead I get to stare at myself all day long, which isn't necessarily improving my mood. And then I wandered into the break room and saw this taped up on the dry erase board:I would say that some people have too much time on their hands, but then I recall the HyperTwins picture and realize I have no room to talk.